Monday, April 28, 2008

TV's top 35

The Post posted it: Here's their list of the top 35 shows ever. Check it out and see if you agree. FYI, the shows I wrote about were Oprah, Sesame Street and All in the Family, although that last one was pretty heavily edited. I think they ultimately went with 35 because it was just impossible to narrow the list to 25. I spent several hours on the phone having that conversation repetitively.

Off the subject a bit, B&C's Ben Grossman has this column online today about "fixing American Idol", which reportedly has caused some controversy because Fox didn't realize he was actually going to publish what they said and then get it linked all over the Internet. Anyway, it's an interesting take. Idol's ratings are down year to year, but it's a seven-year-old show and that's what happens to old shows. It's still the biggest entertainment program on TV.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Earth Day hangover

I actually paid attention to some Earth Day related events and I came away feeling a little overwhelmed.

Sandra Bullock was on Oprah talking about recycling everything, eating nothing with dyes or pesticides, and doing research to make sure your candles are environmentally friendly.

Then I went to the Boulder Book Store to hear my co-book club member Heather Hansen talk about her new book, “Disappearing Destinations: 37 Places in Peril and How You Can Help Save Them” (note shameless, but worthwhile, plug).

Heather talked about securing carbon offsets every time you travel and always making sure you stay in eco-friendly hotels. Since I already feel largely overwhelmed by my life and the research it requires (how much of my retirement fund should be in bonds? What seafood is environmentally unsound to eat? How do you plant an organic vegetable garden?) I decided that I would just add one more simple act to my already simple environmental regime: I’m keeping grocery bags in my car so I don’t get new ones every time. I’ll also continue recycling, I’ll try to reuse Ziplock bags instead of just tossing them, I’ll replace my light bulbs with those more efficient spiral ones and I’ll check out carbon offsets for my next trip, although with the price of gas, who knows when that will be.

I'm all for saving the planet but since it makes expensive things (food, travel, clothing) even more expensive, it can be a little tough to incorporate. I think we all just have to do what we can immediately, and then do more if the opportunity presents itself. Don't they always say awareness is the first step?

There were lots of cool things going down online for Earth Day yesterday – here’s some links to a few of them:

Nasa’s Top Ten Photos of the Earth -- the first of these is posted above

Google’s Earth Day page -- Google just figures out the coolest online applications! Could Google Earth be any more enthralling?

The World Wildlife Organization’s Earth Day page

Discovery’s EarthLive page -- this is pretty amazing

Thursday, April 03, 2008


I love lists. I love reading them, printing them, posting them, checking the items off as I complete them -- it doesn't matter if it's my to-do list or a list of Oscar-nominated films. Crossing every item off a list, which rarely happens, always feels like a triumph. Like you really accomplished something, although I suspect it's a delusion. Once one list is done, another always awaits.

My NY Post editor just asked me to do a list of the top 25 TV shows of all time, which I feel sort of unable to realistically list since I haven't seen every show on TV. But due to my list love, I cobbled something together for him.

The shows I feel strongly about are the ones I've watched recently: Deadwood, Six Feet Under, Sex and the City (HBO in the glory days). But it did bring me back to some beloved shows of days gone by: Taxi, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Dick Van Dyke way back in the day, The Bob Newhart Show (has humor ever been drier?).

I did include some shows from today's TV: The Office, Lost and 30 Rock, although I'm not wholly convicted about any of those shows. I find them all uneven, although 30 Rock probably the least so. Lost wanders off track far too often and The Office is inconsistent -- sometimes it's pitch perfect (last season's episode in which the Dunder-Mifflinites have to play Survivor-like games to get Michael's job is the best of the series, in my view, followed closely by Boys and Girls, written by B. J. Novak) and sometimes it's almost intolerably awkward (Gay Witch Hunt in which Michael almost kisses Oscar. I hid my face.)

Shows that I'm LOVING right now: Showtime's The Tudors (which sadly I can only watch when Showtime takes mercy on me and sends me an episode) and HBO's John Adams. Paul Giametti and Laura Linney are stunning. I predict they will both win Emmys and the series will clean up come September.

Here's the list I turned in. I'll post what the Post ends up using later:

The Office (BBC and NBC versions)
30 Rock
The Sopranos
Sex and the City
The Mary Tyler Moore Show
The Dick Van Dyke Show
The Cosby Show
The Daily Show/Colbert Report
The West Wing
The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson
The Oprah Winfrey Show
Saturday Night Live
The Little Rascals
Little House on the Prairie
Six Feet Under
Star Trek
60 Minutes

Here's Time's list of the 100 best TV shows of all time, which includes several shows I couldn't fit on my list, such as All in the Family, The Twilight Zone and The Carol Burnett Show.